Maha Shivaratri/Shivaratri in India ― Date, History, and Details

Maha Shivaratri/Shivaratri in India

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Let's dive deeper into learning more about the history of Maha Shivaratri/Shivaratri in India and why people celebrate or observe it.

History of Maha Shivaratri/Shivaratri in India and How to Celebrate/ Observe It

Maha Shivaratri is a Hindu festival that commemorates the night when Lord Shiva performed the cosmic dance of creation, preservation and destruction. The festival is also known as “the great night of Shiva” or “Shivaratri”. It is observed by Hindus all over the world, although it is especially popular in South India.

The festival usually falls on the 13th or 14th day of the Hindu month of Maagha (February-March). On this night, Hindus offer special prayers and worship Lord Shiva. They also stay up all night, chanting his name and singing devotional songs. Some people fast on this day as well.

The next morning, they visit Lord Shiva temples and offer him milk, honey and water. They also apply sandalwood paste and vermillion on his lingam (phallus), which is an embodiment of his creative energy.

Maha Shivaratri is not just a religious festival; it is also a celebration of art, music and dance. In many parts of India, people hold cultural programs featuring these art forms.

This festival reminds us that Lord Shiva is the supreme god who controls the cycle of birth and death. It also teaches us to let go of our ego and attachments, and to live in the present moment.